Proselytizing by Jews Explained in Analytical Work
Outlining Historical Record of Conversion to Judaism
Should Jews proselytize? What reader on the journey through
Jewish annals to learn what had
vert to Judaism? What are the transpired.
Christian attitudes to converts to
Rabbi Albert S. Goldstein, deals
the Jewish faith?
with "Conversion to Judaism in
The subject is thoroughly re- Bible Times," dating back to
viewed and the historic cases of earliest times. He states that most
conversions are described in an early converts have been female
interesting volume, "Conversion to due "to the traditional condition
Judaism — A History and Anal- sine qua non for the full conver-
ysis," edited by Dr. David Max sion of males: circumcision." He
Eichhorn, published by Ktav (62 maintains: "The covenant does not
Suffolk, N.Y. 2).
consist of the rite of circumcision.
A number of eminent Reform The covenant is that the Jew is
rabbis, one psychiatrist and one to serve God and be holy as God
Orthodox rabbi are the authors of is holy. Circumcision is but the
the several essays dealing with external sign of this covenant."
this subject. And there is a series
Later, dealing with "The Last
of essays by converts who explain Two Centuries," Rabbi Abraham
their attitudes, the reasons for Shusterman of Baltimore tells
their conversions their present about a conversion conducted in
1890 by Rabbi Henry Berkowitz
T h e Orthodox spokesmen,
of Kansas City who consented to
Rabbi Sidney B. Hoenig, profes-
a young man's refusal to be
sor of history at Yeshiva Univer-
circumcized and accepted him
sity, deals with "Conversion
in the Jewish fold, the Central
During the Talmudic Period."
Conference of American Rabbis
The editor of the volume, who is
having agreed in 1892 "that any
director of field operations for
rabbi, with the concurrence of
the Jewish Welfare Board's
two associates, might accept into
chaplaincy commission, a leader
the Jewish faith any 'honorable
in Reform Judaism, in addition
and intelligent person, without
to the explanatory introduction,
any initiatory rite." He adds
wrote an essay dealing with con-
that while this remains a Reform
versions "From Expulsion to
rule for male converts, Reform
Liberation." The psychiatrist,
Judaism "insists on the rite for
Dr. Abraham N. Franzblau,
male children born of Jewish
wrote on the subject "Conver-
parents, whether these parents
sion: Psychologically Speaking."
be proselytes or Jewish-born."
Dr. Eichhorn maintains that
The Baltimore rabbi reviews the
"Judaism, by its very nature, is, processes of conversion in the last
and for a long time actively was, 200 years, including some of the
a proselytizing religion." He de- noted converts, especially the late
scribes the changes that have Aimee Palliere. He expresses the
taken place and then takes the view that "perhaps the next step
IS the status of Christians who con-
Heroes From Areas on Sports Arenas
By JESSE SILVER
(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)
Irena Kirszenstein of Poland has
been voted Woman Athlete of the
Year in a poll conducted by the
Russian news agency Tass. The poll
was taken from among 14 Soviet
and foreign news agencies.
Miss Kirszenstein is the Warsaw
coed who set world records in the
100 and 200 meter runs last sum-
mer. She also won medals at the
1964 Olympic Games. The Polish
girl beat out two Russian women
for the honor. In all, 37 women
Gary Gubner returned to shot
putting after an enforced layoff
and placed fourth at the National
Indoor track and field champion-
ships. Gubner hadn't thrown the
iron ball in about a year. He had
been advised to rest an injured
elbow. His distance of 61'4 3/4"
suggests that the layoff was bene-
Harry S. Werbin has been ap-
pointed athletic trainer at New
York University. He will leave an
osteopathy practice in Kansas City
to take the post.
Werbin was a top distance run-
ner in his youth and won the 5,000
meter run at the first World Mac-
cabiah Games in Palestine in 1932.
His daughter Gail competed in the
1965 Maccabiah Games as a swim-
trier and high jumper. She is pres-
ently attending the U. of
Dave Youngblade, track coach
at Central State of Ohio, is think-
ing of quitting that job for one
with the Peace Corps. Y o u n g-
blade, from Brooklyn, has become
discouraged because Central has
deemphasized track and field. The
present holder of the world's in-
door 600 yard record is one of
Alan Zuckerman threw in 53
points in a game against Hartford
and became the highest single
game scorer in the long history of
CCNY basketball. For this the 5-
foot-10 senior was named to the
Weekly All-East small college bas-
ketball team. CCNY's victory over
Hartford gave the Beavers a 12-6
record for the year. It is the best
the school has had since 1950.
Coach Dave Polansky is proud
of his boys because not one of them
WAS a star in high school, Zucker-
man didn't even make his high
school team. Other top men on the
CCNY squad were backcourt man
Mike Pearl, 6-4 Bob Kissman and
6-6 Barry Eisemann. Zuckerman
averaged 19.6 points a game while
Pearl was second with 15.9.
Jeff Neuman led Penn to its first
Ivy League basketball title in 13
years. The Penn senior showed the
way with his scoring, remarkable
dribbling and playmaking. In the
crucial second game against Co-
lumbia, Neuman led his team in
scoring with 28 points and directed
the freeze which beat the Lions.
Dave Newmark scored 32 points
for Columbia in a losing effort.
Neuman 6-1 from Altoona, Pa.,
is anxious to play pro ball. He
feels he can do the job despite
his lack of height. He is a market.
ing major in the Wharton School,
and a member of the Friars Senior
Honor Society. He also pitches for
the baseball team,
Coach Harry Litwack's Temple
squad finished the season with a
20-6 record and accepted a bid to
the National Invitation Tourna-
The San Francisco Warriors
named an award in honor of former
owner Ed Gottlieb.
Bruce Kaplan led NYU in scor-
ing with 19 points as the Violets
upset St. John's and earned an
Steve Adelman of Boston College
tallied 35 points as the Eagles
topped Northeastern in the final
of the Beanpot Tourney in Boston.
Coach Bob Cousey said of the 6-5
sophomore before the NIT: "We're
depending on Steve Adelman to
do the job." Adelman finished the
season with a 19 point average.
Steve Chubin scored 23 points in
Rhode Island's losing effort in the
NCAA. The Rams were bombed
by a tall Davidson side 96-65.
Coach Roy Rubin's Long Island U.
team won the Eastern regional
title at the NCAA small college
tournament and backcourt man
Barry Liebowitz got the Most Valu-
able Player award. LIU lost in the
quarterfinal round of the tourney.
They finished the year with a 22-4
The Jewish community of Nica-
ragua, which dates back to the
early part of this century, now
numbers some 300 persons, nearly
all of whom live in the capital
city of Mana gua,
on the destined journey is for the
Jewish people everywhere to bring
to all who will listen the spiritual
message which it possesses . . ."
The numerous examples of con-
versions in the talmudic period are
reported in Dr. Hoenig's essay. He
tells of some mass conversions and
describes the mode of Jewish law
and the procedures that were re-
quired for the acceptance of
Proselytizing, he states, "went
into, a correlated decline" with
the ascendancy of Christianity.
As time went on, proselytizing
became a crime, "yet despite
persecution and c r u e 1 t y, the
urge within the Jew to win
others to his faith never com-
pletely died." But as a result of
Christian interdictions against
Jewish conversions, "J e wish
leaders were moved to adopt
the kind of laissez faire policy
towards conversion which be-
came the standard pattern for
the Jewish community almost
down to the present day."
Writing about conversions in the
post-talmudic period, Rabbi David
J. Seligson shows how, despite dis-
tortions, humiliations and abuses,
"Judaism continued to attract
proselytes." He outlines the rea-
sons for such attractions, one of
them being that the forces of theo-
logical disputations between Jews
and Christians "often boomeranged
against its sponsors" and when
forced to do so "learned Jews were
able to analyze Christian beliefs
and rituals and to defend their
own in a manner that frequently
left their less scholarly and astute
opponents wishing that they had
never embarked on this kind of
Rabbi Eichhorn's "From Expul-
sion to Liberation, 1492-1789" is
replete with many fascinating
stories about famous converts to
Judaism, including Lord George
Gordon, Nicholas Antoine and
many others, and goes into detail
about the proselytizing regulations
contained in the Shulhan Arukh.
Rabbi B. J. Bamberger writes
on "C o n v e r s i o n: Theologically
Speaking" and Rabbi Samuel. Tei-
telbaum treats the subject from
the sociological standpoint.
The several essays by converts,
forming a special section of ex-
treme interest, add to the value of
this volume in that they provide
a better understanding of some of
those who have embraced the
Failure to include Conservative
Jewish viewpoints in this work and
the limitation of Orthodox expres-
sion to a single writer is regret-
table, but in its totality this is a
most illuminating explanatory work
on proselytizing by Jews.
Groups Seek Veto on Loan of Texts to Private Schools
NEW YORK (JTA) — Leaders
of nine civic, religious and school
groups—including non-Jewish as
well as Jewish organizations—sent
an appeal to Gov. Rockefeller Sun-
day, requesting him to veto a bill
passed last week by the New York
State Legislature on aid to private
and parochial schools in the pro-
vision of textbooks to pupils.
Under the measure as adopted,
local school boards in New York
State would be required to lend
textbooks to pupils in parochial
and private schools: with state
funds reimbursing the local boards
for such expenditures.
According to the appellants,
the textbook "lending" bill
would: 1) threaten the integ-
rity of the public school sys-
tem; 2) imperil the constitu-
tional safeguards of separation
of church and state; 3) delay
further progress to end segrega-
tion in the public schools.
A number of Jewish Orthodox
organizations supported the bill
adopted in Albany. Among the op-
ponents who asked Gov. Rocke-
feller to veto the measure are the
American Jewish Congress, Amer-
ican Jewish Committee, the Anti-
Defamation League of Bnai Brith,
Protestant Council of the City of
New York, United , Parents Asso-
ciation, the New York Civil Lib-
erties Union, the Citizens Com-
mittee for Children of New York,
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, May 27, 1966-15
the Public Education Association
and the Urban_ League of Greater
Two taxis c r a she d together.
"Whatzamatter?" the one driver
hollered at the other, "Ya blind?"
"Blind!" the other countered, "I
hit ya, didn't I?"—Regina (Sask.)
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